Psychologist says Senate report on CIA interrogation makes false charges

A U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee staff member enters the committee's offices with a secure attache case on Capitol Hill in Washington in this July 31, 2014 file photo. (Reuters)

One of the two psychologists who devised the CIA's harsh Bush-era interrogation program for foreign terrorism suspects said on Wednesday that a scathing Senate report on their methods "took things out of context" and made a number of false accusations.

"It's a bunch of hooey," James Mitchell told Reuters in a brief telephone interview from his home in Florida when asked for his response to the Senate Intelligence Committee's findings released on Tuesday. "Some of the things are just plain not true."

Mitchell and his colleague, Bruce Jessen, are referred to in the report by pseudonyms but intelligence sources have identified them by name. They were paid millions of dollars to design and run a program of enhanced interrogation techniques after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, even though they had no prior experience as interrogators, the report said.

Committee chair Dianne Feinstein and other critics of the program have said the methods amounted to the torture of some detainees.
 

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